Skip to main content
Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Astrobiology: We are the Aliens

Astrobiology: We are the Aliens

Bacterial aliens (NASA) A funny thing happened recently on the way to Mars.A few days after the successful launch of NASA's behemoth Curiosity rover with its Mars Science Laboratory instruments on November 26th 2011, a somewhat muted piece of news came out admitting that the strict biological planetary protection rules had not been adhered to quite as everyone expected.

February 6, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
Aurorae from Earth, Space, and on Other Worlds

Aurorae from Earth, Space, and on Other Worlds

Southern aurora (aurora australis) composited with NASA imagery As we're in the midst of experiencing some particularly stormy solar weather it seems appropriate to make a quick post with some nifty auroral images and time-lapse movies (see below).

January 25, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
Too Bright for JWST: Some Exoplanets are Overwhelming

Too Bright for JWST: Some Exoplanets are Overwhelming

The planet Upsilon Andromedae b in close orbit to its parent star (NASA/JPL-Caltech) Understanding the structure, dynamics, and chemistry of planetary atmospheres is key to exoplanetary science.

January 24, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
An Abundance of Exoplanets Changes our Universe

An Abundance of Exoplanets Changes our Universe

Earth-sized planets near and far (NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech) Planets in habitable zones, planets orbiting twin suns, miniature solar systems, rogue planets, planets, planets, planets.

January 20, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
Encounter at Dawn: Stephen Hawking, me, and an ATM

Encounter at Dawn: Stephen Hawking, me, and an ATM

A black hole lenses the light of the Milky Way in the background (Credit: Ute Kraus amd Axel Mellinger) This weekend Stephen Hawking turns 70, an extraordinary physical accomplishment to add to an extraordinary list of physics accomplishments.

January 6, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Austere Beauty of Other Worlds

The Austere Beauty of Other Worlds

In the northern winter months we are surrounded by the stark beauty of chilled landscapes. From the darkness of the far north, broken perhaps only by starlight and the glow of aurora, to the brisk grey streets of Manhattan and its now skeletal trees with their claw-like limbs and knobbly stubs pressed to the skies, [...]

December 30, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Solstice, Periapsis, and the Hades Orbit

Solstice, Periapsis, and the Hades Orbit

The Sun rising above the Arctic plain (H. D. Nygren, NOAA Corps.) As our spinning globe of rock and metal tracks its steady path around the Sun, we find ourselves crossing once again through the winter solstice, the point at which Earth's northern pole is pointed as far from our fierce stellar parent as it can be (this year at a coordinated universal time of 5.30 am on December the 22nd, almost the same as 5.30 am Greenwich Mean Time).

December 21, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
A Planet on Fire

A Planet on Fire

A strange chemical reaction Imagine, if you will, a planet with atmosphere, oceans, rocks and life. On this planet, most chemical reactions are either slow and geophysical, or quick and biological but very localized.

December 14, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
You Can't Always Tell an Exoplanet by its Size

You Can't Always Tell an Exoplanet by its Size

Warning: Exoplanets may appear less massive than they really are (images used: Eysteinn Guðni Guðnason and NASA/Kepler) Exoplanets can be confusing things.

December 8, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Kepler 22-b: Another step closer to finding Earth-like worlds

Kepler 22-b: Another step closer to finding Earth-like worlds

Comparison of "habitable zone" of Kepler 22 system and our solar system (NASA/Kepler) Today sees the announcement that one of the "candidate" planets listed from NASA's Kepler mission back in February is now confirmed, and it's a key one.

December 5, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf

Blog Index

Life, UnboundedDiscussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Help Us Reforest the Mississippi River Valley